Providence Public Library Announces New Trustees

May 29, 2023

Providence Public Library (PPL) held its Annual Meeting on May 17 2023, announcing and installing incoming trustees. In formal proceedings, the Library reconfirmed its 2023 officers of the Board as: Elizabeth A. Debs (Providence), Chair; Micah E. Salkind (Providence), Vice Chair; Juan Wilson (Providence), Secretary; and Christopher Stevens (of Easton, Mass.), Treasurer. In addition, the Library announced the following new members of the PPL Board of Trustees:

Dr. Laina Crowthers, of North Smithfield
Dr. Crowthers is a general obstetrics and gynecology doctor who is currently practicing with the Southern New England Women’s Health office. She earned her doctor of medicine degree at the University of Connecticut, School of Medicine and completed her residency at Women and Infants Hospital. She is a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Laina has taught at universities and hospitals and is a member of numerous committees for RI organizations. Laina serves as the co-chair of our Conservator Committee.

Jay Joynes, of Providence
Jay is the program director for Health Affairs at Boston Children’s Hospital. Jay has worked in the healthcare sector over the course of the last 26 years in areas including hospitals, multi-specialty family practices and medical malpractice and liability insurance. He studied music education at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania and returned to school at Dickinson College earning his BA in business administration and his MBA with a focus in Healthcare Administration. Currently, Jay is completing an accelerated MPH program at Northeastern University. Jay serves on numerous boards in Massachusetts and RI. Jay serves on the Library’s Special Collections Committee.

Dr. Philip Chan, of Lincoln
Dr. Chan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and School of Public Health at Brown University and infectious diseases physician. Dr. Chan is Chief Medical Officer at Open Door Health, the state’s only community-based LGBTQ+ clinic. Dr. Chan also serves as Consultant Medical Director for the Rhode Island Department of Health Division of Preparedness, Response, Infectious Disease and EMS (PRIDEMS). He is working with the Department of Health and other community organizations on several statewide initiatives related to improving the health and wellness of Rhode Islanders.

Rodney Lopez, of East Providence
Rodney was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He is an experienced dance educator, non-profit leader, and giving and stewardship consultant. His diverse professional background includes successful tenures in teaching dance artistry in New York City public schools, nonprofit training, coaching, and facilitation; corporate communications, public relations; and executive non-profit leadership. Rodney is a master instructor of Latin and social dance. Rodney served as Executive Director of Dancing Classrooms in New York City and his teaching work with Dancing Classrooms is featured in the Paramount Classics hit documentary Mad Hot Ballroom. Prior to his career in arts education, Rodney was a successful communications and public relations professional. Rodney holds a B.S. in Communications Studies from New York University where he was a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar. He is a member of the Library’s Entrepreneurship Committee.

Beverly Ledbetter, of Providence
Beverly is the immediate past Vice President and General Counsel of Brown University, where she provides legal counsel, representation, and oversight of work on a wide range of legal matters. She became Brown’s first general counsel in 1978 and was the first (and thus far) only black to serve as General Counsel to an Ivy League University. She has served as a Providence Housing Court judge, legal counsel for the University of Oklahoma, and an adjunct professor at the University Of Oklahoma College Of Law. She was a faculty member of the Management Development Program and of the Institute for Educational Management, both at Harvard University. Beverly recently served on the Higher Education Committee of 50, a group of industry leaders who worked collaboratively to prepare a comprehensive report to educate members of Congress about new solutions to improve college access and affordability. Ms. Ledbetter holds a B.S. from Howard University and a J.D. from the University of Colorado. Beverly is a member of our Finance Committee.

MaryAnn Upton, of Foxboro, MA
Mary Ann is a partner in the architecture firm designLAB architects. Her award-winning portfolio includes the transformation of the iconic Dartmouth Hall at Dartmouth College; the renovation of the Schneider Student Center at Wellesley College; a master plan for the Boston Public Library’s historic McKim Building in Copley Square; and a two-phase renovation of Providence Public Library – a restoration of the Library’s 120-year-old Washington Street building to its original grandeur, and a full-gut transformation of the 1950s Empire Street Wing. Mary Ann is active in the Association for Preservation Technology International as a frequent speaker and as a member of APTNE. Mary Ann earned her BArch degree from Rice University. Mary Ann is the chair of our Facilities Committee.